This week’s summary of articles from Public Spend Matters Europe

Our new site Public Spend Matters Europe launched a couple of weeks ago and has received a good reception from the public procurement community around Europe. So every Friday, we are featuring a brief summary of the main articles published on PSME that week. If you see something of interest, please click through and take a look at the whole thing on the new site – there's lots to catch up on around Europe and we have nice pictures there too! 

New EU directives on abnormally low tenders – implications for procurement

Three EU directives which would change the way public procurers treat abnormally low tenders (ALTs) must be implemented by member states by April 2016. The feeling from the marketplace is that this will put further pressure on procurers to follow EU social, environmental and labour laws. Will it ultimately help them avoid the risks associated with these contracts? We have a few more questions.

Outsourcing hospital cleaning  - study suggests quality and value both decline

We discuss the results of an academic study of outsourcing cleaning services in the UK’s healthcare sector. Outsourcing of public sector work has mainly been driven by a need to cut costs and in cases where specialist services are required that the public sector simply does not have. The results are interesting and in some case surprising: "... hospitals with outsourced cleaning services have significantly higher costs and less labour productivity."

Consultation launched on UK Transposition - new Regulations under discussion 

The UK’s Cabinet Office has launched a public consultation on the transposition of the new EU Procurement Directives. A public document has been produced which takes account “of the UK’s general approach of maximising flexibility in the rules, deregulating where possible, and avoiding gold-plating." We discuss, give a link to the document and ask readers for input about similar transposition processes in their countries.

Encouraging small firms in public competition — the procurement phase

In this article we continue our look into the three steps organisations and procurement professionals can take to make public contracts more accessible to and user-friendly for smaller suppliers. In the second step, the core procurement phase, we discuss some of the issues that need to be addressed to remove the barriers and make this part of the process as simple as possible.

European nations top rankings for food supply-chain traceability

European nations are leaders in food supply-chain traceability because of stringent legislative requirements in food safety. A new report covering 21 countries found that European Union/European Free Trade Association members received a ‘superior’ total ranking for food traceability, while most ROW countries received an ‘average’ or 'poor' total ranking. The EU has reformed food safety and traceability regulations considerably, and other countries, it says, could learn from them.

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